The Palm Beaches Prime Timers is a social community of older gay and bisexual men — as well as their admirers. They engage in a number of social activities within the community such as bowling, movie going, dinners and more. They host monthly meetings in the Compass Gay and Lesbian Community Center, 201 N Dixie Hwy in Lake Worth. Their meetings are every second Saturday of the month from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., and often have guest speakers to present new information to members.
Although the chapter was initially created in 2011, the first meeting in Palm Beach was on March 3, 2012 and became the official start date. Four years later, PBPT has 120 members and growing, quadrupling from their original member base.
“The Palm Beaches Chapters is actively looking to expand our membership by recruiting younger and more diverse members, expanding our scope, and extending our geographical reach to adjacent counties where there is no local chapter,” said Vinnie Primerano, the President and Communications Director of the PBPT. “We make it known that we are a natural progression from other gay and bisexual groups such as youth groups and coming out groups.”
According to the Prime Timers main website, “No single definition can describe Prime Timers, as they come from all walks of life. But one thing is true of all Prime Timers. They enjoy the opportunities and friendships that develop with other Prime Timers throughout the world.”
Every Monday, PBPT hosts an event at Strikes@Boca, a bowling alley on Commercial Trail in Boca Raton. People are welcome to come and go as they like, and are highly encouraged to socialize. The next event is March 21 at 6:45 p.m.
“I think the Palm Beach Prime Timers should be extremely proud of what they are accomplishing,” said Julie Seaver, Program Finance Director of Compass GLCC. “As they continue to reduce isolation in the community by hosting a busy monthly calendar and newsletter of lunches, museum visits and walking tours, members of the group are sharing resources and attracting new members every single week.”
Palm Beaches Prime Timers is just one branch of a larger Prime Timers network that spans across the world. It began in 1987 when Woody Baldwin, a retired professor, noticed the gay community focused almost exclusively on the younger generation. He planned the first event, which had over 40 attendees. Since then, the Prime Timers have expanded through North America as well as Australia and Europe with over forty chapters across the world.
The organization’s mission as they continue to expand is to provide support and help solve the needs and concerns of the senior gay and bisexual community. One way they do this is to provide a resource for local and gay-friendly doctors using the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. They also provide memorials on their website for PBPT members that have passed away.
“We come together from all walks of life looking to enrich our social lives, engage in diverse activities, and take advantage of opportunities to make friends with other Prime Timers locally and around the world,” Primerano added. “We are a leading force in the GBLT community with our 80 chapters worldwide; eight in Florida alone.”
Just entering its fourth year, Palm Beaches Prime Timers remains a valuable resource for the local gay community as new members continue to join and participate.
“Community members that have just moved into the area, or perhaps recently lost their partner, continue to join the growing membership of the Palm Beach Prime Timers and we couldn't be happier the group continues to call Compass their home,” Seaver said.
In addition to the Palm Beaches Prime Timers, there are other Florida chapters in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Central Florida, Tampa Bay and Sarasota.
To join Palm Beach Prime Timers, fill out the application on their website. There is a membership fee of $25 per term.